Wawrinka, Gasquet, Completes the Eight-Man List for London ATP Tour Finals

Stanislas Wawrinka beat Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-2, while Richard Gasquet knocked out Kei Nishikori with a 6-3, 6-2 win to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals on Thursday.

Wawrinka’s hope of joining his compatriot Roger Federer at the season-ending tournament became one of the greatest challenges of his career after Novak Djokovic overcame John Isner in their third round match, but Gasquet later won his biggest price in an ATP season and Milos Raonic failed in his London bid as the eight best tennis players for 2013 were later confirmed on Thursday.

Frenchman, Gasquet, recorded his 50th match victories in a season for the first time after his victory over Nishikori in Thursday’s second round clash.

His victory came just a couple of hours after Tomas Berdych had beaten Milos Raonic in the third round, which guaranteed Wawrinka and home-favourite Gasquet their spots in London.

Stanislas Wawrinka Reaches His First AT Tour Finals.
Stanislas Wawrinka Reaches His First AT Tour Finals.

“I’m very proud to be able to go back this year. If I had been told two or three years ago that I would qualify again for the [ATP World Tour Finals] I wouldn’t have believed it.”

Gasquet will next meet Nadal, who recorded a 7-5, 6-4 win over Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz in the Round of 16, in the Paris quarter-finals on Friday.

Nadal, who could crown a season he wouldn’t want to forget in time, with his 13 Masters Tour 5,000 title, headlines the list. Others are: Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro, Berdych, Roger Federer and Wawrinka.

Djokovic, who is gunning for his second Paris Masters title sets a quarter-final clash with Wawrinka after rallying from a set down to beat Isner 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday.

Presently ranked eighth in the world, Lausanne-born Wawrinka will be making his first appearance at the season finale, which begins on Monday, 4 November and ends November 11.

The 28-year-old victory over world number 13, Almagro, in Paris-Bercy was his career best 49th win, converting four break points and striking nine aces to rally from an early break deficit in the opening set.

“I am very pleased for this match today, because not only am I playing to qualify for London, but I want to play and have a good tournament here in Paris,” noted Wawrinka after his victory on Thursday.

Djokovic-Wawrinka’s head-to-head record stands at 13-2 but the pair were at loggerheads at the Australian Open and the US Open, in what has been tagged two of the most entertaining matches of the season.

Defending champion David Ferrer cruised into the last eight, beating Frenchman Gilles Simons 6-2, 6-3 in 77 minutes.

Juan Martin Del Potro maintained his winning run with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Grigor Dimitrov in the third round. Del Potro will face either Roger Federer or Philipp Kohlschreiber in Friday’s quarter-finals.

Some of the Third-round results

4-Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) beat Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) 3-6 6-3 6-4

2-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat 13-John Isner (U.S.) 6-7(5) 6-1 6-2

3-David Ferrer (Spain) beat 15-Gilles Simon (France) 6-2 6-3

7-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat 12-Nicolas Almagro (Spain) 6-3 6-2

1- Rafael Nadal (Spain) beat Jerzy Janowicz (Poland) 7-5, 6-4.

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